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October 04, 1999 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-04

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 4, 1999

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The Student's Guide to the 1999-2000 School Year

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
dally. Ietters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority offthe
Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Colleges or prisons?
Engler must re-prioritize budget

A nother school year is well underway
and we all know what that means:
stress. The beginning of each school year
is perhaps one of the most nerve-racking
times in every college student's academic
calendar. Every
September. we stu-
dents are faced with
a new host of situa-
tions, decisions and
problems that never
seems to get any'
"Will I get an 'A'
out of Bio 436?
"Will the football
team go all the way
this year?"
"Should I get the Scott
Lexus SUV. the Jeep Hunter
or the Pathfinder?" g
With all of these the S
grave matters to
worry about, the last
thing we need to be bothered with is the
random events of the coming year.
Anxiety over things like politics and fed-
eral budgets only diverts our attention
from important things like school and
"The Real World." Who wants fret about
the outcomes of MSA elections or U.S.
military action?
Wouldn't it be great if we could somehow
know what is in store for the coming year?
Well, worry no more, young Wolverines.
Just as I did last year, I have compiled
below my predictions for the school year
ahead. That's right, this is The Student's
Guide to the 1999-2000 School Year (ISBN
0-671-66702-H. All rights reserved).
Everything below is guaranteed to be 100-
percent correct or my name isn't Pat

* Oct. 8 - Wishing to follow Comerica
Park in capitalizing on the investment
opportunities in the "new Detroit,' several
other companies make plans for new pro-
jects in the Detroit area. Scheduled to open
in Spring 2000 are the Slim Jim Hockey
Arena, the Farmer Jack Expo Center and
the Pillsbury Institute of Arts.
* Oct. 9 - In football action, the top-5
ranked Wolverines whack the MSU
Spartans 21-19. Unnamed Daily columnist
wins 5500.
* Oct. 18 - The United States scraps
plans to send peacekeeping soldiers to
Sierra Leone when it is discovered that the
country is predominantly black.
0 Oct. 23 - Following the Miss
America Pageant's decision to drop its 50-
year-old rule barring contestants who have
been pregnant, Monica Lewinsky
announces her bid for the crown.
Nov. 3 - Much to the chagrin of her
publicists, Jennifer Lopez makes a cameo
appearance in the remix video for Juvenile's
"Back That Azz Up."
Nov. 19 - Minorities remain infuriat-
ed despite NBC network executives' pro-
posal to include more under-represented
groups in their Fall line-up with the zany
sitcom "Amos & Andy: The Next
Nov. 23 - Despondent over the quick
failure of his solo career, Jordan Knight
joins the multi-platinum group The
Backstreet Boys.
* Dec. 4 - In presidential election
news, CNN Gallup polls reveal a huge
drop in the number of Pat Buchanan sup-
porters. The decline comes just three days
after the reform party candidate vows that
"if elected, I plan to invade Poland."
Dec. 13 - Seizing a huge profit-mak-
ing opportunity, the University Board of

Regents approve the implosion of MLIB for
the construction of a student SLV dealer-
Jan. 1 - The entire Microsoft product
line successfully passes midnight 2000
without any glitches. Microsoft stock prices
leap to new heights and Bill Gates becomes
the country's first jillionaire.
Jan. 6 - Controversy ensues when a
team of investigators from SOLE uncover
evidence that "Steve" and "Barry" are noth-
ing more than aliases for Kathie Lee-
* Feb. 12 - Prominent cartoon giant
Hanna-Barbera files a $3.3-million slander
suit against Rev. Jerry Falwell, following the
Baptist evangelist's proclamation that the
Smurfs are gay.
Feb. 29 - After years of fraud-ridden
elections, MSA decides to discontinue its
online voting because of rising security con-
cerns. This year, students vote by applause.
* March 8 - After several unsuccessful
bids for the MSA presidency, Jessica Curtin
critically wounds three students in a failed
coup attempt.
April 3 - In an unexpected move,
Republican presidential nominee George W.
Bush announces the selection of former
Washington, D.C., mayor and fellow crack
head Marion Barry as his running mate.
April 14 - Pandemonium erupts at the
Naked Mile when someone touches DianaW
Ross's breasts.
There you go: The 1999-2000 school
year demystified in less than a page. Man,
what would you all do without me'?
Now you can focus your attention on
things that really matter, like that taxing
jeep decision (I'd go with the Pathfinder,
- Scott Hunter can be reached via
e-mail at sehunter a umich.edu.

GJov. John Engler's $1.8 billion higher
education budget went into effect on
Oct. 1, giving the University 4.8 percent
more funding than last year, coupled with an
additional 2 percent designated to technolog-
ical improvements. Accordingly, the
University Board of Regents approved the
lowest tuition increase in more than 10 years.
Should we rejoice? Well, not so fast.
Beneath the glittering statistics lies the real-
ity: The University still needs more state
funding. Comparatively, the 1999-2000
tuition increase is marginal - a 2.8 percent
increase from last year. Still, this increase in
tuition heightens the financial burden on
students and their families, forcing them to
seek aid from the University or an outside
Also included in Engler's proposal was a
five-tier system that groups universities
according to the amount of funding received
from the state. The University was placed in
the top level - "the research tier" -
grouped together with Michigan State and
Wayne State universities based on a funding
floor of $9,000 per student.
Grouping universities together in this
manner overlooks the individual needs of
each one. The University is consistently
ranked among the top five research universi-
ties in the country, placing it ahead of such
Ivy League schools as Yale and Princeton. If
the other two state universities in our
"research tier" receive similar funding, yet
participate in fewer research projects, is it
justified for legislators to group them togeth-
We don't think so. While Wayne State and
Michigan State educate thousands of stu-
dents every year, they serve a different pur-
pose than the University of Michigan.
Michigan is the top research university in the
country, receiving more federal research
funding than any other U.S. school. Research
funding cannot be measured in dollars per
student. Because the needs of the University
increase disproportionately with those of
other universities, it is vital that it receives

the appropriate funding.
Maybe it's because Engler is a Michigan
State alumnus. But we just can't understand
how he could even try to equate Michigan
State and the University of Michigan. If he
wants Michigan to fall from the top tier of
national universities to a second-rate school,
he should continue this demented funding
But Michigan isn't the only post-sec-
ondary institution that's been shafted by
Engler's budget. Higher education should be
near the top of Engler's priority list, but
recent evidence suggests otherwise. The
budget for correctional facilities is expected
to eclipse that of higher education in the
upcoming year. Last year's correctional facil-
ities budget was $1.3 billion, compared with
this year's $1.8 billion for higher education.
That is a sorry statement about Michigan's
priorities. We'd rather see young people edu-
cated than locked in prison. But Engler does-
n't see the difference.
Considering the state's booming economy
- with the lowest unemployment rate in
decades - higher education should be pro-
moted more than ever. For the state to con-
tinue its economic growth, education should
be at the top of the agenda.
The number of students enrolled full-time
in Michigan's public universities is nearly six
times the prison population. This should be a
wake up call to the state legislature to con-
sider the re-allocation of funds. It is
appalling that the state government would
spend nearly as much money on maintaining
and constructing prison facilities as it would
invest in its future: the students.
The University, along with other public
state universities, deserves more funding.
Although Engler increased funding to the
university, it evidently wasn't enough to pre-
vent a tuition increase. Furthermore, the
needs of each university should be assessed
on an individual basis, so that the use of state
funds is equitable. It is time for our elected
officials in Lansing to reconsider the need
for adequate funding for public universities.





Trouble in the sky
NASA funding cuts are not the answer

T he 20th Century has seen many impor-
tant changes and discoveries. One of.
the most important advances made was the
advent of space flight. In the United States,
NASA has been responsible for all major
space programs. The organization has had
its fair share of serious failures over the
years, such as the Challenger explosion,
and most recently the loss of the Mars
Climate Orbiter due to a Metric to English
conversion error. After incidents like this,
people sometimes clamor for a cut in funds
to NASA. The recent Orbiter loss was a
serious mistake, but is not an excuse to cut
funding to NASA.
In today's society, there is never enough
money for all the programs and organizations
that need it. As such, daily bartering occurs as
to who should get how much funding, if any.
As a scientific institution, NASA spends
much of its time, energy and funds on pure
scientific research and discovery rather than
practical applications. Thus, many see NASA
as a waste of funds that could be going to
improve the daily lives of Americans.
Advocates of this action fail to realize that
diverting funds from NASA would not be
enough to make a significant contribution to
any other program. NASA's funding is a very
small part of the federal budget - about one
penny out of every dollar, a dramatic decrease
from its early years. Diverting this money to
other programs would not make any kind of
positive impact -modem science would take
a tremendous blow for no gain elsewhere.
Trb41-l-~ -a - . 1: ila lha i-..a+1

by supporting NASA. Thanks to NASA's new
policy of cheaper, more efficient programs,
further advances can be made at no noticeable
expense to the taxpayers. There is no excuse
not to support NASA.
Americans also must keep in mind that the
space program led to many improvements in
their daily lives as well. As a cutting edge
field, space science has helped to make
advances in many areas, such as communica-
tions and plastics. Without the support of tax-
payers, there would be fewer new inventions,
no new discoveries in space, no new products
for consumers to purchase.
As a haven of learning and science, the
University and its students must support
NASA. A large percentage of the University's
funding is for pure research-based science. It
is this kind of work that separates us from
most of the other universities in this state. The
University would not be the school that it is if
it were not for the fact that taxpayer money is
supporting its scientific research. Cut fund-
ing to NASA, and the government will soon
cut funding to university's like this one as
Science is not an easy realm to work in.
The greatest discoveries are often preceded by
disasters, failures, stops and restarts. This has
been true of NASA, and all other major sci-
entific programs. Mistakes happen; knowl-
edge comes through trial and error. As such,
Americans must accept the fact that NASA
will occasionally experience foul-ups.
Knowing this, every effort must still be made
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Don't use
censorship to
prevent swearing
In her response to Schillaci's Sept. 27
column, "Capitalizing on the magic and
mystique of the 'F' word," Estelle Baker
gives us the primary reason why one must
attempt to understand a piece of writing
before responding to it ("Swearing is not
attractive or creative." 9/29/99): She has
run Schillaci's column through her per-
sonal moral filter and pieced together a
statement she finds offensive.
Of course, I cannot disagree with her
assessment of the insipidness of constant
swearing. On the other hand. I actually do
understand Schillaci's point about censor-
ship creating an aura of mystique around
the censored product. It is a fact proven
by history. Perhaps Baker fails to under-
stand this; any well-adjusted person has
experienced curiosity as to the identity of
censored words or text.
Moreover, she commends the FCC
because "someone has to take a stand (on
morals) somewhere." In the next para-
graph, she discusses her miraculously
sheltered youth. Perhaps the home is
where a moral stand should be taken. She
must, after all, remember from her high
school government class that leaving the
teaching of morals to the government is
somewhat un-American.
Baker does not understand that by
showing children that there is nothing
special or effective about swearing, there
might be less desire to use these words.
After all, less repressed societies than our
j own understand that repression creates
Microsoft-'U' deal
will have hidden
There are a few things that the Daily's edi-
torial ("Microdeal" 9/23/99) did not consider
regarding the effect of the University's impend-
ing deal with Microsoft to provide reduced
prices on Microsoft Office to students and staff
of the University.
This deal will have the effect of limiting the
choices that students have when it comes to
computing. If you want to use Microsoft
Office, you need to purchase a Microsoft oper-
ating system in order to use it. By making this
deal, Microsoft has increased the likelihood
that recipients of the deal will buy Microsoft
operating systems at full price.
For Microsoft, once the first copy of a pro-
gram like Office is produced, each additional
copy costs the company next to nothing. Once
Microsoft has recovered their development
costs, the rest is profit. More importantly, the

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Also, Microsoft gets lots of free advertising
out of the deal. Of course, I don't think anyone
has ever accused Microsoft of not being clever.
The University ought to inform students
and staff of other available software. Sun
Microsystems gives away a program called
StarOffice, which is compatible with Microsoft
Office, and Corel gives away Word Perfect to
users of Linux, a free operating system that
works on just about any kind of hardware. Like
the Daily points out, owning a computer is
expensive enough already.
I don't mind if business school students
study Microsoft as an example of a successful
company. It is important, however, that students
be told the truth about their computing options
and the interests that determine them.
Chant was not
stolen from Florida
As a member of the front-row, "super-
fans" section for the past six years, I felt
compelled to put an end to this ridiculous
"first down chant" controversy once and
for all. In fact, the Michigan student sec-
tion is imitating the referee's first down
signal. After the Blue defense has suc-
cessfully forced the opposing team to
punt, the Michigan marching band plays
"Temptation" as the student section
"tempts" thehopponents to go for first
down rather than punt!
We have more tradition here in Ann
Arbor than any school in the country.
The last thing we would ever do is pilfer
a cheer from a school like Florida State. Go
First down chant is.
a new Michigan

at Florida State.
We may have even stolen it from
The point is though, that when
Michigan forces atfourth down, it is
Itime for the opposition to punt.
When the opposition punts, we get a
first down. The fans are just signaling
that our team is about to gain a first
It may not be a tradition at Michigan
to do the "first down chant," but it is
something we do now. This is as much a
part of the cheering as shaking our keys
on an opponent's third down, or waving
our hats for a kickoff.
These aren't traditions either, but we
do them anyway.
Maybe everyone else in the stadium
is trying to imitate Florida State, but I'm
just signaling first down for the only
college football team I've ever truly
cared about.
True Michigan fans
should stop the


Stop The Chop held a successful stu-
dent information session Friday on the
Several hundred students showecd
support and agreed to take the cheer and
make it Michigan's.
Of three dissenters, one made argu-
ments of animal rights and the wolverine
never inhabiting Michigan, another pro-
posed the "it's different because we use a
different song" argument, the last said
his two favorite teams were the Atlanta*
Braves and Florida State so it was alright
with him. Obviously, these people are
not true Michigan fans.
No real Michigan fan could support
such weak arguments at the expense of their
school. How sickening.
James Cotton and others may think then

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